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Sea Turtle & Interview at Jill Weatherholt’s Blog

 

Hello Friends,

Here is another sea turtle I drew recently and plan to paint in watercolors to get 5×7 cards printed from.  It is a rough draft as you can see by all the erasure marks!  🙂

In the meantime………

 

Today, my friend, Jill Weatherholt, is kindly featuring me on her blog!  She gave me some interesting questions to answer, so if you want to know a little more about me, hop over to her fantastic blog here, and read about all of the other great bloggers she is featuring in her “Summer Spotlight!”  You can find her blog here: https://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/summer-spotlight-patsy-parker/

See you over there!

 

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

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FOCUS ON CREATIVE ENERGY: Novelist: Sharon St. George

Hello Friends,

A while back I put out the word that I wanted to add a summer feature to my blog called “Focus on Creative Energy.” I stated that I would like some guest blog posts that focus on other bloggers, writers, and artists.  I listed three questions you could pick from which are:

  • How long have you been a writer and/or artist 
  • What do you like to write about and/or create? 
  • Who has been the greatest influence in your creativity?  (This could be someone you know or someone you admire but have never met.)                

If you are interested, there is still time.  I will have this feature every other Monday beginning today.  I have since found a few people who expressed interest in being featured here.  My first guest is a writer named Sharon St. George.   You can find her online here::http://www.sharonstgeorge.com/

My husband and I met Sharon in our town in Northern California, at a local writing group called The Writer’s Forum.  She is the Program Director of the group.  She contacts guest speakers and schedules them to present at their monthly meetings from September through June each year.

In 2015 my husband bought her first book that was published that year called “Due for Discard.”  He has since bought all of her other books pictured below. Here is Sharon’s story. Enjoy!

Many years ago, when my children were old enough that they no longer required my constant attention, I decided it was time to do two things I’d been wanting to do for a decade. First, I got myself a cat. Second, I signed up for a fiction-writing course. I’ve been writing ever since, and I’ve always had a cat.

From childhood, animals have played a significant role in my life. I had my own horse and dog as a youngster. And there were always multiple cats on the little farm where I grew up. So it’s no surprise they’ve been part of the cast of characters in all my novels. My first fiction attempt was inspired by a race that pitted a young man in post-Civil War California against the father of his sweetheart in a race from a town similar to Redding to the town of Eureka and back. The catch was that the young suitor was on foot, and the father of the girl was on horseback. Needless to say, the horse came in second and true love won the day.

In my current Aimee Machado Mystery series under contract with Camel Press of Seattle, I chose to write from a hospital-based perspective, because that is where my professional background lies. Having worked in medical offices, hospitals and libraries before I began writing the series, the field of medicine, and particularly the behind-the-scenes intrigues involving the hospital’s administration and medical staff organization provided me with enough inspiration to write an endless number of books. My background in library work gave me the experience to make my protagonist a forensic librarian.

But how to combine medicine with my love for animals? That combination led me to create a setting where my hospital’s forensic librarian protagonist lives in a converted bunkhouse apartment over her grandparents’ llama barn. Aimee’s corporate pilot boyfriend has a drug-sniffing dog, her grandmother has a temperamental cat, her grandfather raises turkeys and keeps a pet king snake, and, of course, there are llamas.

Could any of the mysteries in the first four books in the series have been solved without the help of the animals? Of course. (Well, with one minor exception involving the dog.) However, none of the animals communicate with Aimee telepathically, nor can Aimee talk to the animals à la Dr. Doolittle. (My books are sometimes described as cozy, but they’re not that cozy.) Animals may not be essential to the plot, but because of the rural Northern California setting, it seemed they would add texture and realism to the world Aimee inhabits.

The result is that each of my Aimee Machado Mysteries combines animals, a hospital, a librarian, a mystery, and an evolving romance. And I should mention that I had immigrant grandparents on both the maternal and paternal sides of my family, so I’ve always been fascinated by people with a multi-ethnic or multi-cultural background. Even better, my grandkids are part Asian, so the icing on the cake for me is that my protagonist is half Chinese and half Portuguese. Oh, and she just happens to be a black belt in jujitsu. But that’s another story.

Thank you, Sharon, for being my first guest blogger!  I enjoyed reading your story, and I am sure others will as well.  

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

Mr. C. Turtle, Page 2

Hello Friends,

I thought I would share page 2 of one of my stories I am working on right now.  In case you missed it,  you can click on the category Stories in Progress to see page 1.

I had two illustrations painted on one page, but I had to divide them so I could fit the text in.  So it doesn’t look the same, but eventually I hope to get it the way I want it!!

You know, one of these days, I really hope to get a new program where it won’t be so much trouble to put text with my uploaded pictures of my paintings!  If anyone has any suggestions on a reasonably priced program, please let me know!  Thank you!

So without further ado…..here’s page 2!

© Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends

By Patsy H. Parker

 

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends

Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends

© By Patsy H. Parker

 

Hello Friends,

Several months ago I wrote a story called “Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends.”  I haven’t put anything about it on my blog yet because I was still tweaking the story a bit.  But this is how it starts.  I decided to put the pictures of the paintings in my Word program and put in the dialogue to get a feel for how it could be.  Hopefully, you may be able to “see” where this story might be going!! Anyway, I began doodling in my sketchbook what I want my characters to look like a couple of months ago.  But I just got to trying to paint them last week.  These are just quick sketches without backgrounds.

So there is a little fish who you’ll find out more about later.  Then there is Mr. C. Turtle, the main character.  He wears a top hat and a monocle.  Eventually you will see what kind of personality he has if you haven’t figured it out already.  I have a lot of paintings to do to get this really going.  It will be one of my many summer projects I am going to be working on.

Yesterday, I also spent a few hours continuing to paint my pictures for my picture book “Larry, the Lonely Leatherback.”   One of the drawbacks of A.D.D. is I get bored with things quickly, so I have to have several different things to be working on at the same time.  I guess you don’t really have to have A.D.D. to work that way, though.  I have read that a lot of artists and writers are working on several projects at a time.  Now all I have to do is make myself a schedule for the rest of the summer!  Wish me luck!

By the way, I am also re-organizing my blog and learning to use tags correctly which I have learned that I think I majorly messed up!  Sorry if you’ve had trouble finding anything here.  It is always a work-in-progress…just like I am.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Book Giveaway – Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

This is a wonderful post! Have a good day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Writing and Illustrating

Congratulations to author/illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick on her new book OWL BAT BAT OWL. She has agreed to participate in our book giveaways. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Can two very different families find their space in the world together? A wonderful wordless picture book offers stylish art, humor, and charm.

A mother owl and her three little owlets live happily on their branch. That is, until the bat family moves in. The newfound neighbors (owls up top, bats hanging below) can’t help but feel a…

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MENTAL HEALTH: Getting Well is Possible.

Hello Friends,

Over the last few days I have been deciding how I plan to deal with my brother’s suicide and how I would like to be involved in a large community near where I live.  I met with a woman on Tuesday at the open house for a new mental health facility that opened in Redding, Ca.  Here is a link to the article:   http://anewscafe.com/2017/05/25/county-officials-mental-health-professionals-and-public-attend-open-house-of-new-mental-health-facility-in-redding/

It was exciting for me to hear about all of the many services this group of people is going to offer to Shasta County.  I knew then that God was showing me how my life is going to change real soon.  I signed up to be a volunteer.  I will start out doing simple things at first such as answering phones or e-mails or helping with mailings.  I also plan to begin attending meetings facilitated by the woman I met with.  She facilitates meetings for friends and family members of people who completed suicide.  It has been many years since I went to any kind of open recovery meetings such as this, but I am looking forward to it.  I remember back in 1988 when I went to my first recovery meetings after I stopped drinking and using drugs.  I felt very nervous and afraid.  However, I am not that person anymore; I know what I need to deal with, I have good boundaries, and there is no pressure to share.  I think just meeting new people and hearing other people’s stories will help me begin to deal with the unfortunate choice my brother made.  I will have no problem sharing or talking, though, so I am sure I will.  The next meeting isn’t until June 5th so I have some time to process all of it some more before then.

I have my first counseling meeting set up for June 2nd with a therapist I met a couple of months ago.  I am also looking forward to talking with her.  It has been a very long time since I went to a woman counselor which will be different.  When I first went to counseling in 1988, I went to a woman.  However, after several months, I felt really uncomfortable with her for some reason.  So I stopped.  I kept going to the ACA meetings, and then found a male counselor at the church I was attending at the time.  I went to him for several years, and he was encouraging, safe, and the first man I ever felt connected with emotionally whom I knew I could trust.  I grew a lot in those years, and he helped me through the transition of entering a second marriage which has been healthy and loving.  My husband and I have been together since December of 1994.  It has been quite a journey!  And now we are looking toward the future when our nest is empty and he retires someday.

So as far as working with Hill Country Care Center, I am planning to take some time to get to know people, get a good feel of all of their services to the community, then possibly go through their Shasta Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Academy which is a “FREE 65-hour certificate training program…designed to help people prepare for entry-level positions within the public mental health field and/or prepare them to become Peer Mentors.”  (That is a quote from their brochure.)

It has been many years since I have taken any kind of classes, but I had already been thinking about something along these lines for the last year or so. I just had no idea I would find out about this wonderful care facility this way.  So hopefully, as I said in my last post about my brother, something good will come from his death.    It is possible that I may eventually get to use my writing and art to contribute to the creating of flyers, etc.  So that is exciting for me, too.

Thank you to all of you who read my last post about the suicide of my brother.  I appreciate all of your support, prayers, and comments more than you know.  I am planning on keeping you updated on what I will be doing and learning as a volunteer in the mental health community.

I am still doing art and still plan to keep working on the picture books I’d like to write and illustrate, but for now it is just for fun.  I am feeling like this other work is going to become more important to me for the time being, but the facility does also have a program where they train people to go into elementary schools and talk about suicide.  Who knows?  Maybe somehow, all of this will meld together into something beautiful.  I sure hope so.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

 

SUICIDE: Don’t Make That Choice!

Hello Friends,

I have been feeling a little reluctant to write about this, but honestly, I don’t see how I can NOT write about it.  This will be long; bear with me, please.

On the morning of May 5th, I learned that one of my brothers committed suicide on May 4th.  In a way, I wasn’t surprised when I thought back on the last time I had spoken with him.  He called me out of the blue about a month before this and asked me if I knew where his daughter was.  I thought this was a strange question since I have not seen her since she was three years old!  She and her mom left California in the early ’80’s when her mom and my brother divorced.  Anyway, I asked him why he needed to find her.  I asked him if he was sick.  He said he wasn’t sick, but he couldn’t hardly walk anymore. He said he wanted her to be able to have all of his part of the financial investments that our parents left us “just in case something happens to me.”  In the back of my mind I had a flash of what he may have been planning.  However, I did not ask him if he was feeling suicidal.  I wish I had.   I was actually surprised that he even called me.

My brother and I had a very rocky relationship for most of our lives.  I never really understood why.  I am the youngest.  He was the middle sibling.  We were four and a half years apart.  He would have been 61 this July.  He always seemed closer to our other brother.  However, throughout our lives we all really went our separate ways.  The closest I ever felt to either of them was when we went through the death of our mother in 2006.  Our father died three years later.  So our eldest brother had to handle all of the inheritance stuff.  It was a very stressful time for all of us.  Since then, we have all lived separately; my oldest brother left the area and my other brother and I never knew where he was until about three years ago.

That was when my middle brother decided to call me and apologize for everything he had ever done to hurt me.  He was crying and truly sorry.  This was something I had been praying for since 1987 when God had turned my life around.  I had tried many times to make amends with him, but he was just not ready.  Needless to say, I was thankful for that call.  I told him I had forgiven him many years ago and had been praying we might be able to have that conversation someday.  I told him I had always wanted to know him and I loved him.  I asked him if we could just start to have a relationship then, but he said he didn’t want to.  He was addicted to drugs and couldn’t get clean.  He was living in a trailer park where he had been for the last 20 years.  He didn’t know how to change, and he didn’t ask anyone for help that I know of.  I felt helpless, but I let him be.  I called him a few times just to see how he was doing, but he just didn’t know how to connect with me.

I believe he suffered from mental illness his whole life; most likely anxiety and depression, just as I have since I was at least 15.  Looking back on my childhood, I now believe my dad suffered from depression and this was why he drank.  I also think my mom had anxiety issues not just because of his drinking, but because of her own chemical make-up.  She was always worrying about everything and everyone.

I went through my drug and alcohol abuse days from about 1980 to 1987.  That was the year I quit everything and got help through counseling and an ACA (adult children of alcoholics) meeting every week for a couple of years. However, both of my brothers kept using drugs and alcohol for the rest of their lives.  My brother who died was hurt on a job many years ago and was getting pain medicine through the veterans hospital.  He was in the Navy for four years when he was right out of high school.   Apparently, though, his back became so bad, he could hardly walk anymore.  I believe that he just chose to die to escape the pain that was consuming him.

I have been that low many, many times myself emotionally.  However, I am thankful to have a loving husband and two children who love me and would never ever want me to make that choice just to escape any pain I may go through in my life.  It doesn’t solve anything, and it leaves those whom the person left behind in shock, angry, and sad.

When I learned of my brother’s suicide, I was definitely shocked.  Then I was angry for a few days.  Then I had to begin dealing with the aftermath of what would happen to him and his stuff.  At the time I didn’t have a clue as to where his daughter was.  Then his best friend found my brother’s ex-wife’s phone number.  She was contacted and then my niece was.  Yesterday I spent most of the day on the phone with my 37-year-old niece whom I do not even know.  It was strange, but good.

Hopefully, just getting in touch with her will be the blessing that comes out of his sad choice.  My brother and his daughter were estranged from each other for most of their lives as well.  I always felt sad about that, but hopefully she and I can build a relationship with one another now even though we live very far apart.

To this day I have no clue as to where my other brother lives.  We became estranged after our parents were both gone eight years ago.  He left the area and has never wanted to come back.  However, our brother who died did have a best friend who knew where our oldest brother was.  So the same month that my brother called and apologized to me, he also went and found our other brother to make amends with him as well.  However, I have no way to find our eldest brother to try and do the same.  He is living off the grid which is what he always wanted.

I know this has been a very long post; if you stayed with me, thank you.  I wrote this to encourage anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows anyone who is, to tell you to please reach out for help.  There is lots of help to be found!  First, try to talk to someone you know.  If that doesn’t help, call a local suicide hotline.  Or call 1-800-273-8255.  This is the number for Suicide Prevention Services of America.  Their website is http://www.spsamerica.org if you want more information.  I have never used their services, but I am sure there would be someone there to talk to.

Well, friends, I am definitely going to be reaching out for some help myself in dealing with this.  I have talked with someone locally whom I am planning to meet this afternoon.  Perhaps this is going to be the start of something good.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

The imaginary friend

Some lovely thoughts from my lovely friend, Julia, whom I met through blogging a long time ago. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Defeat Despair

Imagination to reality: meeting (again) in person, the smiles say it all.
Laurie, Matt, me, Kelly and Alys at Rustico’s in Old Town Alexandria, April 2017

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” ― Ann Patchett

I think most everyone who writes can identify with this quote. But for those of us who blog, the line takes on a magnificent blur as the imaginary friend we reach through our writing may, from time to time, step through the mist and become real to us. And for many of us, this might happen again and again, with several different people who read our words, and whose words we read, leaving us with an entire family of friends we might never meet face to face.

Just last week I was exchanging…

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Lenny, the Leatherback – A Poem

Hello friends,

Yesterday after I wrote about writing being tough at times, I came up with this poem, which is weird since I don’t really write poetry anymore!  Ha, ha.  And of course, it is about a sea turtle! (This is not the same “Lenny” as in my other story.  I just love this name!)  Enjoy.  🙂

Lenny, the Leatherback

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle was as large as he could be.

He loved his home,

But he was all alone

In the salty waters of the sea.

 

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle tried every day to make friends.

But jellyfish swam away fast,

Whenever he was about to pass,

They were so afraid he might eat them.

 

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle felt as lonely as he could be.

He dove down deeper…down, down,

And when he saw a clown –

Fish, he smiled and was friendly.

 

The clownfish smiled back at Lenny,

She didn’t seem to feel afraid of him.

She swam up to his side instead of trying to hide,

And asked, “Will you be my friend?”

 

By,

Patsy H. Parker

4/21/17

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Writing…Sometimes It’s…toUGH!!!

Courtesy of Google

Hello friends.

I found this quote and picture on Google today, and it encouraged me.  I have not been posting much lately, but because of some personal struggles, I have been doing the best I can.  Struggling has pushed me back into tackling some writing projects again.  I am not sure if the writing is therapeutic or not at this point, though.  It feels a bit stressful at the moment…thus, the UGH!!! in my title.

One story I began a very long time ago is “Gracie, the Green Sea Turtle.” After re-reading it, I decided to remove it from my blog for now, because I realized how many mistakes were in it so I am doing a re-write and will hopefully actually finish it.  I may post it again someday, but I think posting it before was premature and showed that at the time I did not proofread it enough!  And I am usually a stickler about proofreading.  I must have been off my meds that day…

Lately I have been working on other turtle stories and a poem this week, too.  I just jotted a short poem down this morning which still needs work.  I haven’t really written poetry in years.  I already posted “The Most Ticklish Turtle in Town” this week.  It’s a good thing, too, because somehow it has disappeared off of my laptop. I have a printed copy, but I sure didn’t want to have to type it all over again!

My daughter and I did get some good news yesterday, though.  She does NOT have classes next week due to other students doing testing.  She is a senior, so she doesn’t have any testing this year.  I don’t think she is planning on doing college classes in the fall at this point.  She is planning to join the California Conservation Corps. soon, though, which is something she has been looking forward to for the last couple of years.

This has really been a trying week; to add stress upon stress, we have been having upgrades to our hatchery done in the past few weeks, so there have been lots of planned power outages so the people can work on our power poles.  It has been very frustrating to say the least.  In addition to this, we had to have our personal (not the whole hatchery’s) internet system upgraded, because our old one was having too many problems.  All I can say at this point is TGIF!!

Hopefully, the weekend will be brighter.  My husband and are planning to go to something called “Spoken Word Night” this evening.  We have never been to one, but I guess it is “an evening for serious poets, writers, playwrights, storytellers, comedians, actors of all genres.”

I may be the least “serious” of them all at this point, but perhaps we will meet some interesting people.  They meet once a month.  So we will see how it goes.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!

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